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American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions North American Indian missions records, 1803-1883
American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions, creator
40.5 linear feet (83 boxes)
mixed material
Congregational churches -- Missions ;  Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma ;  American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions. ;  Woman's Board of Missions. ;  Cherokee Nation ;  Dakota Mission. ;  Oregon Mission. ;  Sioux Nation ;  Missions -- North America ;  Dakota Indians ;  Mackinaw Mission -- History ;  Missionaries ;  Women missionaries

Manuscripts and records

Reading instruction


Cross cultural reading

19 century

Letters and other documents originating in the American Board's missions to North American Indians, including the Cherokee, Choctaw, Sioux, Dakota, Mackinaw, Maumee and other tribes.

For a general note on the history of the Board and the importance of its archives, see the finding aid to the main collection. Missions to American Indians began in 1817 with a mission station in Brainerd, Tennessee, to serve the Cherokees. Other tribes were added to the Board's deployment up to 1836, but the work met many obstacles, including the dispersal of tribes by the U.S. government, and the Civil War put an end to almost all mission activity.

Research Publications Ltd. (now Primary Source Microfilm, an imprint of the Gale Group) filmed a considerable part of the ABCFM collection in the early 1980s, their target being the correspondence to and from the field before 1919. For the contents of the 858 rolls of film, download the reel listing, or see the printed edition Papers of the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions: Guide to the microfilm collection (1994), shelved in the Houghton Reading Room. A set of the microfilm is in Lamont Library, call number Film A467 (see HOLLIS record 1113915 ). Some papers in this series have also been microfilmed by historical societies in the states where the ABCFM Indian missions operated.

There are other materials in the ABCFM archive (ABC 1-91) relating to these missions, e.g. documents originating in the Board offices (such as letters to the missionaries), personal papers of missionaries, maps, and photographs.

Electronic finding aid available http://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:FHCL.Hough:hou01802

Unpublished index to missionary names is also available in the Houghton Reading Room.

American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions North American Indian Mission Records, 1803-1883 (ABC 18.3-18.8). Houghton Library, Harvard University.

In English.